Previewing Celent Model Bank 2021 Awards

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5 January 2021
Bob Meara

As regular readers of our blogs know, January is one of the most exciting months at Celent. The analyst teams having just reviewed nominations for Model Bank, Insurer, and Wealth Manager Awards, and chosen initiatives most worthy of recognition, we are now diligently writing dozens of detailed case studies that will publish in early March. Every year we are impressed by the sheer scale of efforts to innovate and transform our industries, and are grateful that so many financial institutions (FIs) take time to share their success stories with us.

Despite the global pandemic, 2021 was again a fantastic year for Celent Model Bank. Amidst the disruption caused by Covid-19, banks innovated mightily in 2020, with over 160 Celent Model Bank nominations to show for it. Nearly 90 FIs from across the globe nominated initiatives. Roughly two-thirds are headquartered outside of North America.

Yet, while quantity matters, it’s the overall quality of submissions that makes our task as judges so thrilling and yet so difficult. This year, we were again delighted with the quality of nominations. In the end, we are excited and confident about our selection of winners, yet inevitably disappointed that we could not award so many others that clearly also deserve recognition.

After long deliberations, the Banking analyst team chose to recognize 21 initiatives as winners of the following Model Bank 2021 awards along four themes:

Covid-19 Response:

  • Supporting Customers in the Pandemic
  • Credit Innovation during the Pandemic
  • Operational Excellence in COVID-19 Response

Payments Innovation:

  • Commercial Payments
  • Retail Payments
  • Embedded Finance
  • Payments Infrastructure

Retail Banking Digital Transformation:

  • Financial Inclusion
  • Financial Wellness
  • Customer Engagement
  • Legacy Transformation
  • Retail Digital Banking
  • Digital Customer Onboarding
  • Open Banking Ecosystem Development
  • Mortgage Lending

Corporate Banking Digital Transformation:

  • Corporate Digital Banking
  • Corporate Banking in the Cloud
  • Architecting for Innovation
  • Payables Transformation

Finally, Model Bank of the Year, first introduced in 2012, recognizes one financial institution annually that stands out from the crowd and uniformly impresses Celent judges.

We will be announcing all winners publicly the week of March 9th at the start of our Innovation and Insight Week digital event. In addition to announcing the award winners and summarizing the initiatives, Celent analysts will be discussing broader trends we’ve seen across all nominations. Please mark your calendars and keep an eye on our website for further announcements.


Insight details

Insight Format
Geographic Focus
Asia-Pacific, EMEA, LATAM, North America